“… but it was the saxophone soloing that challenged credulity, it’s length and perhaps its unwillingness to tell a traditional story… If there’s one thing the facile critic needs to do his job, it is some verbal personality from the bandstand, some words to transcribe into the review – anything to make a thoroughly musical endeavor more literary or conversational. Coltrane would not provide it.”
Ben Ratliff

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Resurrecting my old laptop

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My old LG (LM50a) laptop has been completely out of commission for a few months.  It took a few hits and in the end the CD drive was slipping out of place (and pushing it in caused the computer to crash) and the power connection was shaky – so the computer was losing power and shutting down (battery is long dead).

I wanted to take it to someone to fix so I can resurrect it as an Ubuntu machine. A few days ago I decided to give it a shot myself. I started by unscrewing the visible screws but quickly hit a wall – so before resorting to violence I did a search and found some tips on how to open the casing. I was elated when I had the computer open AND was able to locate the problem.

lg01_open

As I was staring at it I realized that I needed some kind of map to find my way back to a working computer – so I arranged all the screws in reverse chronological order and that worked out just fine.

lg03_screws

The power connector was almost free – the soldering was completely gone. So I borrowed a soldering iron from a neighbor and fixed them.

lg02_fix

Then started the journey back: (1) replacing the top cover (and connecting the touch-pad); (2) reconnecting & assembling the screen; (3) reconnecting and replacing the power/controls panel; and (4) finally the keyboard.

lg04_screen

lg05_powerpanel

lg06_keyboard

Then, with my fingers crossed, I plugged the power in and … it came back on and there I was back with my XP installation.

lg07_working

Next up was a lot of uninstalling, deleting/backing up old files and then defragmenting the drive to prepare it for the Ubuntu installation.

lg08_defragbefore

Then came Wubi (Windows Ubuntu Installer), another spectacular example of open-source initiative. It works amazing well and simple – you download an installer from their website and select your preferred language, user interface (I went with Kubuntu in English) – and it does EVERYTHING for you – it partitions the hard drive and installs Ubuntu.When it’s done and you reboot the computer you will be able to choose  between Windows XP & Kubuntu.

lg09_wubi

The download and installation can take some time – so I left it running and missed most of the show. In the morning I found the computer restarted in XP (which remains the default boot operating system) – so I restarted it and… got a messed up graphic display – in which I could make out a progressing progress bar (looked like it was continuing the installation) and I let it continue its work.

lg10_screenerror

When it was finished, another restart and … YEAH!! it worked. My laptop has been resurrected and is now running Kubuntu.

lg11_kubuntu

I still need to figure out how I will be using and synchronizing it with my main PC and stuff on my Ubuntu storage server  … but hey – I’ve got my laptop back :)

Some more useful links I found as I was searching around and considering my options:

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